The Ryan Giggs story is not without its controversy, but he
IT is a rare enough thing finding a professional footballer who commits his entire career to one club, and even rarer when that career lasts longer than two decades.
Ryan Giggs turned 40 yesterday, just two days after playing 90 minutes in a Champions League clash at Bayer Leverkusen in what is his 23rd year as a Manchester United first team player. What is most astonishing is that he remains effective, as was demonstrated by his killer assist to Nani in the closing stages of United’s 5-0 walloping of the Germans. He has obviously lost a yard of pace — only a yard — but his skill, vision, accuracy, composure and experience all make him an invaluable member of David Moyes’s squad during a crucial time for United.
For many of us 20-somethings, a United squad without Giggs has simply never existed. When he goes (retires, not dies, though at this stage it’s anyone’s guess which will come first) his loss to football and the Premier League will be the equivalent of cricket and India saying goodbye to Sachin Tendulkar.
He has won all there is to win at club level. His Welsh blood immediately predetermined that his international hon- ours would forever be non-existent — yet still Giggs finds a way to come back year after year, hungrier than ever and in immaculate condition.
No decisions have been made on next year yet, the season isn’t even half way through, but Giggs has always said that as long as he is in good shape and contributing to the team, he will keep playing. And on Wednesday night’s evidence, there seems to be a bit of gas left in the tank.
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